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Day: September 12, 2023

LES TÉLÉCOMS SONT EN GUERRE CONTRE LE STREAMING

Cette opposition ne nuira qu’aux consommateurs, alors que certains coûts contrôlés par les Etats pourraient tout aussi bien être réduits.

En mai dernier, le commissaire européen pour le Marché intérieur, Thierry Breton, a proposé de faire contribuer les plateformes au développement de l’infrastructure numérique, comme les réseaux 5G, ce qui a suscité des réactions mitigées.

Certains acteurs du secteur des télécommunications estiment que les fournisseurs de contenu et les plateformes de diffusion en continu ne paient pas leur « juste part » pour l’utilisation des réseaux qui transmettent leur contenu. Ils mettent en avant le trafic élevé généré par les services de diffusion en continu, qui sollicite leurs infrastructures et leurs ressources.

Sauf que ce n’est pas vrai. Et la mise en œuvre de ces règles de répartition équitable se traduirait surtout, au final, par une augmentation des coûts pour les consommateurs, car des sociétés comme Netflix, Disney, Sky – NowTV et la société italienne Mediaset Play seraient tenues de payer pour les réseaux et reporteraient cette augmentation sur les prix de leurs services.

Les infrastructures ne suivent pas

La bataille pour le partage équitable des contributions a révélé un problème majeur sur le marché européen de la connectivité : les fournisseurs de télécommunications sont censés construire les autoroutes de données de l’Europe, mais ils ne disposent pas des capitaux nécessaires pour le faire rapidement. Le manque d’argent place les économies européennes dans une position désavantageuse par rapport à la concurrence, et il faut faire quelque chose. Malheureusement, le commissaire Breton et ses alliés au sein de certaines entreprises de télécommunications historiques considèrent que le coupable est un groupe croissant de fournisseurs de contenu numérique.

L’argument selon lequel les fournisseurs de contenu ne veulent pas payer leur juste part pour l’utilisation du réseau ne résiste pas à l’examen. En effet, les fournisseurs d’accès à Internet, qui, dans de nombreux Etats membres, possèdent l’infrastructure, ne sont pas autorisés à bloquer les services ou le trafic, sauf pour des raisons de sécurité, grâce au règlement 2015/2120, dit « règlement sur l’Internet ouvert ».

L’application de l’idée du partage équitable aux services de streaming irait à l’encontre de cette disposition, car elle obligerait certains fournisseurs à payer pour l’utilisation du réseau, leur accordant ainsi un traitement différent par rapport aux autres.

Les fournisseurs de télécommunications facturent aux consommateurs l’accès au réseau et les données ; ils sont donc déjà rémunérés pour l’utilisation de leur infrastructure. Au lieu d’imposer des redevances injustes aux fournisseurs de contenu, l’UE pourrait collaborer avec les Etats membres pour réduire le coût des licences d’utilisation du spectre, c’est-à-dire les redevances que les entreprises de télécommunications paient pour accéder au spectre de radiofréquences nécessaire à la transmission des signaux sans fil.

Vers un marché unique des télécoms ?

Dans de nombreux Etats membres, le coût de ces licences peut être exorbitant. Certains se souviennent peut-être encore que l’Allemagne a mis aux enchères le spectre 3G/UMTS pour un total de 50 Mds€ en 2000. Cela représentait 620 € par résident allemand, et les entreprises de télécommunications disposaient ainsi de moins d’argent pour construire l’infrastructure de données nécessaire.

En réduisant, voire en supprimant totalement, ces redevances, les fournisseurs de télécommunications disposeraient de plus de capitaux, ce qui leur permettrait d’investir dans les infrastructures et d’améliorer leurs services.

A l’heure actuelle, le spectre n’est généralement « donné » que pour deux décennies. Une propriété appropriée et des marchés secondaires du spectre fonctionnant dans toute l’UE apporteraient également plus de dynamisme à notre marché de la connectivité. Malgré la rhétorique selon laquelle la fin de l’itinérance intra-UE nous a conduits à un marché unique de la connectivité, l’Europe est encore loin d’un marché harmonisé des télécommunications.

La création d’un marché européen compétitif de la connectivité et des télécommunications pourrait s’avérer plus rentable que la tentative de Breton de taxer les plateformes de contenu principalement basées aux États-Unis. Cela profiterait aux consommateurs en augmentant la concurrence, en faisant baisser les prix et en améliorant la qualité des services de télécommunications.

Si la proposition de l’UE visant à faire contribuer les plateformes au développement de l’infrastructure numérique peut sembler raisonnable et facile à mettre en œuvre pour aider les opérateurs de télécommunications, elle créerait plus de problèmes qu’elle n’en résoudrait. La soif de recettes fiscales de certains Etats membres a considérablement réduit la connectivité de l’UE et les capitaux disponibles pour des investissements importants dans les infrastructures de réseau.

Les consommateurs paient encore aujourd’hui la facture des ventes aux enchères de fréquences par le biais des prix élevés des forfaits de téléphonie mobile en Allemagne et dans d’autres pays tels que le Royaume-Uni. En revanche, les Etats membres baltes ne paient leurs forfaits qu’entre 5 et 35 € par citoyen, ce qui laisse tout de même aux fournisseurs de réseaux les liquidités nécessaires à la construction d’infrastructures.

Pour remédier aux difficultés financières du secteur des télécommunications, il est préférable de réduire le coût des licences d’utilisation du spectre plutôt que d’imposer des redevances injustes aux fournisseurs de contenu. Une nouvelle approche du spectre profiterait aux consommateurs en renforçant la concurrence, en faisant baisser les prix et en améliorant la qualité des services de télécommunications.

Europe’s Agriculture Reform Is Failing

The European Union commissioner for the European Green Deal has left, a farmers’ party has taken control of the Dutch senate, French president Emmanuel Macron says regulatory changes shouldn’t be rushed, and the EU’s largest political group is openly opposing reform plans that had been years in the making. It is not looking good for the farm policy reform that the European Union had been promising.

Legislation in Europe either dies a quiet death or goes out with a lot of fanfare. The “Farm to Fork” strategy by the European Union is on track to do the latter. Its flagship proposal to halve the use of pesticides by 2030 and set aside 10 percent of agricultural land to protect biodiversity has hit a brick wall: Austria, Poland and Hungary are stalling negotiations, possibly dragging them out until the European elections next June. The pesticide reduction element of the plans formulated in the Sustainable Use of Pesticide Regulation has faced opposition for practical and political reasons.

Early on, farmers’ groups opposed the law because it would undermine Europe’s food production industry. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture did an impact assessment on Farm to Fork, it found that it would significantly increase agricultural prices and even contract the European economy. That was before the economic effects of COVID-19 had manifested itself fully and before the war in Ukraine had started. Still, the European Commission held firm throughout the mountain of criticism; Green Deal Commissioner Frans Timmermans even said, “We’ve gotten used to food being too cheap.”

Last summer, Netherlands farmers upended European politicians’ illusion that agriculture as a policy area could simply be swept under the rug. Large-scale protests by farmers addressed the issue of nitrogen emissions, which the Dutch government sought to cut to follow EU rules. Livestock farming, responsible in part for those emissions (as is construction and aviation), was explicitly targeted by a buy-out program seeking to reduce by almost a third the number of livestock farms in the Netherlands. Despite that, in their anger, farmers burned hay balls and blocked access to airports, public opinion was on their side. In the recent senate elections in the Netherlands, the Farmers’ Citizen Movement became the strongest party, now set to have a significant say in the policymaking of the country.

The political happenings in the Netherlands served as a wake-up call for political parties across Europe, specifically those on the center-right who had traditionally counted on the support of farmers and now see themselves threatened by the emergence of single-issue farmer parties in elections. Other than protesting, Dutch farmers have shown there is a political angle for them to embark on and that farmers as food providers have a much higher public standard than previously recognized.

Timmermans is now exiting his job to run for prime minister. Given his record on environmental policy, it’s hard to tell whether Dutch voters will give him a chance.

Farmers certainly won’t. 

Meanwhile, the center-right European People’s Party is pitching itself as the farmers’ party, even warning that farmland reductions could lead to “global famine” and put “farmers out of business.”

While the last European elections in 2019 gave more leeway to environmentalists, who have tried to implement ambitious targets, it looks as if the realities of the COVID pandemic, the economic troubles that have ensued from it, and the war in Ukraine will be preventing them from following through with their plans. It is likely that we’ll see a shift to the center and center-right and by that standard, a different agricultural policy.

One positive change that has been announced and will land on the negotiating table of the next European Commission is the authorization of gene-edited crops. Until now, the commercialization of new genomic techniques in food production has been virtually impossible. But with those legal changes, Europe will finally catch up to the technological realities of the United States and Canada.

From the perspective of European strategic autonomy, the fact that the Farm to Fork strategy is likely to fail is good news because Europe cannot afford increased food dependence. Both animal feed and fertilizer imports were coming from Ukraine and Russia until the war upended the reliance Europe had on both countries. Reducing the environmental effect of farming by reducing the size of the sector cannot be a forward-looking strategy for Europe.

Originally published here

Viktor Orban’s Tucker Carlson interview shows why he doesn’t deserve GOP praise

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban gave an interview last week to Tucker Carlson , who is a returning guest in Hungary. (Carlson’s father is the director of a Washington lobbying firm Hungary has contracted to represent its interests.) Orban’s interview with Carlson aimed to prove to Republicans that he is a sound politician who offers excellent solutions to the conservative crowd. However, the interview proved he is an opportunist who takes every chance to bash the United States, even if that means repeating Russian propaganda.

While the Hungarian premier once again offered his unconditional support for former President Donald Trump, he also made statements that showed he is not the conservative leader some people claim him to be.

During his time with the former Fox News star, Orban claimed that the notion Ukraine could defeat Russia is a “lie” because the Russians are “far more numerous” and added that Ukraine would never be a NATO member. According to him, Russia will never give up its strategic aims in Ukraine, so the strategy of supporting Kyiv is a “bad one.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) clearly did not get the memo: He said in Kyiv on Aug. 23 that it cost the U.S. 3% of its annual defense budget to “destroy half of the Russian army.”

The Hungarian leader also noted that he warned the U.S. at every NATO summit that sending a single NATO soldier to Ukraine would start World War III. Still, the pompous Americans never listen to him. This is a clear falsification: President Joe Biden was obviously not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine to take part in the conflict when it began on Feb. 24, 2022. 

These narratives spread by the Hungarian prime minister and the ruling Fidesz party harm not only the Democratic Party’s image in Hungary but that of the entirety of the U.S., which Fidesz uses to turn the Hungarian population against one of its key allies. Average Hungarians will not differentiate between Biden’s and Trump’s U.S. They will only see the U.S. negatively for allegedly being “responsible” for the war in Ukraine, which, as they are told, is what led to the economic hardship they are experiencing. And no sensible Republican can be happy about an allied head of government spreading disinformation taken straight out of Russian propagandaoutlets.

The Hungarian prime minister added that Trump’s presidency would quickly end the war if Trump closed the money flow to Ukraine. And while Trump and  some other Republicans have toyed with the idea, others, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a strong proponent for aid, were evidently not notified of this “easy” solution to bring peace. The Hungarian government has never mentioned the actual easiest path to peace: immediately withdrawing all Russian forces from Ukrainian territories. It is very curious that the Hungarian leadership, as the self-appointed voices of peace, would make such an omission. 

The prime minister claims that all the analysis of the Ukraine-Russia war is based on his excellent knowledge of Russia, which the Americans do not possess. This should also be scrutinized: In 2008, Orban, then in opposition, said that Russia’s attack in Georgia was “military aggression,” adding that a pro-Russia policy did not serve Hungarian interests. In the same year, current Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Szijjarto lashed out against Russian actions in Georgia during a protest in front of the Russian Embassy, adding that the Russians “handled” the invasion of Georgia the same way they did Hungary in 1956. 

Since that day, Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded Szijjarto the Order of Friendship, and the Hungarian Foreign Ministry could only offer a feeble response to a state-mandated Russian history book describing Hungary’s 1956 revolution as a “fascist” one. So, if the prime minister and the Hungarian foreign minister understood Russia’s methods in 2008 but now think the exact opposite, Orban and Fidesz’s knowledge of Russia can be questioned. 

It is not, in fact, this excellent understanding that directs Orban’s Russia policy but mere political opportunism. Hungary, as Szijjarto correctly pointed out in 2008, knows precisely what Russian occupation entails, and its leaders are ignoring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine regardless, out of simple political calculations.

Finally, the claims that the Biden administration supported the Hungarian opposition during the 2022 general election must be addressed. First, there is, to this day, no solid evidence that any American institution was funding the Hungarian opposition with “a huge sum” to defeat Fidesz.

However, the interview never mentioned that a Hungarian semistate foundation, the Center for Fundamental Rights, was granted about a million euros to organize an “international conference,” implying the CPAC held in Budapest in May 2022. These funds came from Hungarian taxpayers. It was also not mentioned that U.S. conservatives such as Rod Dreher are being paid by organizations the Hungarian government has invested billions in to build a conservative network, improving the image of Fidesz globally. The source of the “investments”? The Hungarian taxpayer, whose net median salary in February was HUF 295,600, or about $846.

Besides his leftist economic policies , Orban should not be seen as a role model for Republicans because of his fundamental misunderstanding or deliberate denial of Western interests, repetition of Russian propaganda narratives that affect how Hungarians view the U.S., and use of Hungarian taxpayers’ money to restore the image of his government globally rather than to improve the economy.

Originally published here

Environmentalist conceit on basic forest management will bring more devastation

When we see the thousands of people impacted by flames that have engulfed forests and homes in Hawaii, or across the vast wilderness of western Canada and California, it is easy to be both shocked and angry.

Pristine forests, homes, and entire villages no longer exist as they once did. In Lahaina, the area most impacted by wildfires on Maui, at least 115 lives were lost and over $6 billion worth of property was destroyed.

While the underlying causes for this devastation continue to be examined — whether it was electrical utility negligence, water politics, or climate change — the fact remains that proven fire prevention methods haven’t been enough. Or, perhaps, in pursuit of more lofty goals, we’ve been hoodwinked by misguided activist groups to cast time tested knowledge aside.

One such example, prescribed burns, is considered the most effective method of fire prevention for both forests and vegetation. In an effort to cut down on dry vegetation and timber, fire is purposefully set to forests and farmlands in a controlled manner that is both monitored and regulated.

This practice is carried out by sugarcane producers in Florida, timber companies up and down the West Coast, and forest officials across the country. These controlled burns are uncontroversial in forest management and most of agriculture, and are a necessary part of the cycle of managing forests and land that would otherwise be susceptible to fires.

But to many environmental groups and some state and federal regulators, controlled fires by both industry and public agencies pose significant risks to both climate ambitions and broader environmental concerns that should trump their use.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent update to the Clean Air Act, for instance, imposes health-based air quality rules that effectively restrict prescribed burns in local communities, a point that several California members of Congress have urged the agency to reconsider.

Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. Forest Service halted prescribed burns across Oregon, Washington, and California, concerned the smoke would exacerbate the effects of the respiratory virus.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newson’s administration has set a goal of burning up to 400,000 acres per year in “beneficial fires,” burdensome regulations and permitting delays have hampered efforts by both private companies and local officials to use burns.

Green groups across the continent have also lent their efforts to stopping prescribed burns both in forestry and agriculture, using lawsuits and constitutional provisions to argue for environmental standards to restrict its use.

For the last decade in Florida, the Sierra Club and other groups have launched several health-related lawsuits against sugar growers, hoping to halt pre-harvest burning in sugarcane fields that are used to separate the valuable sugarcane crop from the flammable grasses that surround it. A highly publicized class-action lawsuit was first dismissed by the judge for lack of evidence and then later voluntarily dropped, much to the chagrin of activists.

Similar efforts did, however, prove successful in Hawaii, where a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a “clean and healthful environment” was recently interpreted by the State Supreme Court to uphold the permit denial of a biomass plant that planned to use controlled burns.

However, forest ecologists have been clear that more prescribed burns would have prevented much of the fire devastation in Hawaii. According to the Washington Post, the exodus of sugarcane and pineapple producers over the decades left thousands of acres of highly flammable grasslands on Maui unmanaged, providing the necessary fuel for the fire likely sparked by a downed electrical line.

For a state concerned with responsible environmental stewardship, but now ravaged by the recent wildfires, efforts at halting responsible forest and land management leave us with more questions than answers.

Will public officials and private industry still be allowed and encouraged to use prescribed fires and to avoid these types of catastrophes? Or will environmentalist activist fears of future climate crises limit their use?

The priority for all of us must be evidence-based, ecologically sustainable strategies that can help balance all of these concerns. For now, that means forest and land management must remain a solution.

Originally published here

Consumer Choice Still Best Way to Govern Markets

One of the questions I have been asked through the years I’ve worked at Consumer Choice Center is what it precisely means to defend consumer choice — the foundation on which it is built. One might say the clue is in the name, but consumer choice comes with a set of prerequisites that requires a functioning market economy.

In a nutshell, consumer choice describes the idea that consumers should be able to freely choose to buy a product or service or not to buy it, based solely on their own judgment and predicated on wants and needs they set themselves. Government regulations across the globe negate many aspects of this principle.

For instance, there are regulations that mandate you buy certain services, such as insurance, even though you might feel more comfortable self-insuring or buying the service on a subscription basis.

On the other hand, the government also has a list of products and services you are not allowed to buy and even sets rules for the time and place during which you are allowed to buy them. Examples of these are restrictions on sales times for alcohol, bans on vaping products, or regulations such as Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) that make it impossible for many American expats to access bank accounts abroad.

The enemy of consumer choice is most often government regulation, but that does not mean that all regulatory means are automatically contrary to consumer choice. Substances that could be harmful to minors should be inaccessible to them. Also, in cases of fraudulent promises by producers or harm caused through faulty products, consumers should be able to seek redress through the courts.

A common rebuke to these principles is that even though an open market exists, consumers don’t have access to a variety of service providers. This often comes from a misunderstanding of the rules that currently govern the marketplace. In the health insurance market or banking sector, the absence of a sufficient number of service providers comes from heavy-handed market-entry barriers that prevent entrepreneurs from accessing the market.

Or think of ride-sharing: while Uber or Lyft disrupted the taxi market, we are unfortunately falling back into the trap of taxi lobbies in those cities that aggressively try to regulate away the sharing economy. The misunderstanding does not necessarily lie with the influence of the government over market openness, but also over what constitutes excessive market concentration.

Take the example of Amazon, currently targeted by the FTC because it presumably consolidates and offers too many different products and services through its Amazon Prime bundle. Despite its successes, Amazon is far from representing a monopoly on the marketplace: Amazon’s e-commerce business represents less than 40% of the e-commerce market share, and given that e-commerce only represents 15% of all retail in the United States, it makes Amazon a curious monopolist with a remarkable market share of … 6%.

We need to define terms and provide context, and make sure that the conditions for consumer choice are met: We need an open and free market that allows companies to compete for consumers, not the other way around. When there is consumer choice, we see the rippling effects of creativity and innovation.

Consumer choice is also the neutral and judgment-free approach to viewing purchasing patterns. Those who are willing to support organic agriculture can shop at Whole Foods and at organic farmers markets, while others can shop cheaper (and with equal quality) at other stores.

Those who believe that the entrepreneurial success and the service of Amazon is something to be admired can use its services, while those who believe it represents the moral decay of late-stage capitalism are free to shop second-hand and locally. With consumer choice, consumers get to boycott products because they believe the CEO said something insensitive, and others get to buy the products because they support the statements (or the products) made.

Companies spend trillions of dollars on market research agencies, advertising questions and AI-driven analyses to figure out what the consumers want — because the one vote that counts for them is the consumer vote of confidence. However, when the market is limited to a few companies and/or products through regulation, consumers are disenfranchised from that vote.

Consumer choice is the only productive way to govern our market system: It guarantees individuality and free expression for all.

Originally published here

Why isn’t agriculture an issue in presidential debates?

In 2016 and 2020 , farmers overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump for president. The track record of his administration justifies the choice, as Trump appointed agency directors who reversed unnecessarily strict Obama-era regulations on chemical crop protection products that are essential for fighting pests and preserving yields. 

Now, with President Joe Biden nearing the end of his term and having gone back to much of the Obama years of the Environmental Protection Agency opening the floodgates on pesticide regulation while injecting large green stimulus into the farm sector, where is agriculture as an issue in the national debate?

Much of the presidential debates involve rehashing points of the last two presidential terms. Gun rights, immigration, and the conduct of Trump during his time in office are certainly important topics, but the impact of farming policy on consumers cannot be understated. In recent years, matters such as repeated fires at livestock farms (which killed half a million farm animals in 2022), the increase in farm pests due to climate change, supply shortages and higher costs due to hurricanes , the nationwide herbicide shortage , and 5% food price inflation hitting consumers all contributed to a less resilient farm and food system in the United States.

Meanwhile, the debates on the 2023 Farm Bill once again focus mostly on SNAP benefits and eligibility , leaving aside a much more opportune conversation on the productivity and independence of the farm system. What are practical solutions to the fertilizer shortage during a sanctions regime on Russia? How much of a role should the government have in conservation or organic agriculture through farm subsidies? Is it reasonable that the U.S. continues a long array of court battles over pesticides when decisions over authorizations should instead be made in Congress after advice from scientific bodies? These are questions that aren’t being asked to presidential candidates, even though once in office, the president has a key impact on those matters through his or her agency appointments.

It is true that farmers aren’t regarded as a significant enough voting bloc during elections. Direct-on-farm employment represented a little over 1% of total employment in 2023. That said, when we take all of the agricultural and food sectors into account, that makes for a good 10% of the total workforce, which gains exponential importance, especially in key swing states. 

It may also be that farmers have fallen victim to the effect of being taken for granted. As they overwhelmingly support Republican candidates, Democrats feel like it is easier for them to paint farming as an environmental problem rather than addressing the intricacies and challenges of modern farming and the real hardships that professionals face. This is why farmer representatives would be better served to align their interests with those of consumers.

onsumers are often unaware of the backbreaking work put into their food supply and how regulatory changes affect the prices they see in supermarkets. When appeals to an administration are made not merely to protect the interests of farmers but also of those who buy their products, that is where the voter base inflates.

Framing agriculture not merely as a niche policy issue but as one that affects purchasing power and consumer well-being can help shed more light on the views of presidential candidates, and it can pull agriculture out of its obscurity into the spotlight it deserves.

Originally published here

People renting backyard pools told to stop operating ‘public pools’

Backyard pools across the Triangle are available for rent, advertised on the Swimply app as ‘Hidden Gem’, ‘Private Oasis’ and ‘Tropical Retreat.’

However, some hosts on the site are getting push back from local officials. The hosts are being told to stop operating as a “public pool” or face consequences.

There is no law in North Carolina governing backyard pool rentals specifically; but guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services says if you rent out your backyard pool, the pool is considered public.

Orange County said they were following that guidance when they sent a letter to Chris Paolucci telling him to stop operating the pool in his backyard as a public pool.

Paolucci is a Swimply host and has been renting his backyard pool to others who may not have pool access.

“It gives that opportunity for people without, and it gives us an opportunity to cover our costs,” Paolucci told 5 On Your Side.

Swimply works like other sharing apps Airbnb and Vrbo, but it’s just for pools and visitors can rent by the hour.

“Typical it’s like 2 to 5 people coming, small families,” Paolucci explained about his experience hosting on Swimply.

Paolucci said he was confused when he got the letter from Orange County. The letter said Paolucci needed to have a public pool plan review, a commercial grade pool and an operational permit from the county to keep operating as a public pool.

Read the full text here

Pentingnya Menjaga Hak Kekayaan Intelektual untuk Pembangunan Berkelanjutan

Persoalan mengenai kerusakan lingkungan dan pemanasan global saat ini merupakan masalah global yang menjadi fokus berbagai negara dan organisasi di seluruh dunia. Banyaknya lingkungan yang tercemar, dan juga temperatur yang semakin meningkat, telah mendatangkan berbagai bencana yang menimpa banyak orang di seluruh dunia, mulai dari erosi, banjir besar, krisis air bersih, hinggal gelombang panas.

Seiring dengan perkembangan teknologi, pemakaian energi yang kita gunakan juga semakin meningkat. Tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa, teknologi telah membawa banyak manfaat bagi kehidupan miliaran orang di seluruh dunia. Berkat perkembangan teknologi, kita bisa menikmati lampu di malam hari, bepergian dengan jauh secara lebih cepat, dan mengakses informasi secara lebih luas.

Tetapi di sisi lain, pemakaian energi yang semakin besar juga membawa dampak yang negatif, seperti pemanasan global dan juga kerusakan lingkungan yang disebabkan oleh berbagai hal, mulai dari polusi udara, sampah yang semakin menumpuk karena konsumsi yang semakin meningkat, dan lain sebagainya. Namun, pada saat yang sama, menghentikan atau memutar balik perkembangan teknologi juga merupakan sesuatu yang hampir mustahil.

Untuk itu, dibutuhkan kebijakan pembangunan yang dapat mendorong kemajuan, tetapi pada saat yang sama juga bisa memitigasi dampak kerusakan lingkungan dan juga pemanasan global. Saat ini, kita sudah memiliki kerangka kebijakan untuk melakukan hal tersebut, yang dikenal dengan nama “Pembangunan Berkelanjutan” atau Sustainable Development.

Pembangunan berkelanjutan, atau sustainable development, sendiri, dimaknai sebagai pembangunan yang dapat memenuhi kebutuhan kita saat ini, tetapi pada saat yang sama juga tidak mengorbankan kemampuan dari generasi mendatang untuk memenuhi kebutuhannya. Secara konsep, ada banyak cara untuk menginterpretasi dan memahami pembangunan berkelanjutan. Tetapi, pada intinya adalah, bagaimana kita bisa menyeimbangkan kebutuhan kita dengan kondisi serta batas-batas lingkungan, kondisi ekonomi, dan kondisi sosial yang kita hadapi saat ini di dalam masyarakat di seluruh dunia (un.org, 13/3/2023).

Dengan demikian, dimensi dari pembangunan berkelanjutan ini tidak hanya pada isu lingkungan saja, tetapi juga isu ekonomi dan sosial, seperti memastikan penyediaan layanan kesehatan, pangan yang tercukupi, dan juga akses air bersih bagi semua orang, serta agar seluruh anak-anak usia sekolah bisa mendapatkan pendidikan. Untuk mencapai tujuan tersebut, tentu merupakan sesuatu yang tidak mudah untuk dilakukan.

Untuk itu, inovasi dan juga perkembangan teknologi merupakan sesuatu yang sangat penting untuk mewujudkan adanya berbagai hal penting tersebut. Untuk mencegah semakin ebrtambahnya polusi udara misalnya, maka dibutuhkan inovasi teknologi yang memungkinkan penggunaan sumber bahan bakar yang lebih ramah lingkungan dan tidak membuang banyak emisi.

Selain itu, agar semua orang mendapatkan pangan dan nutrisi yang tercukupi misalnya, dibutuhkan kemajuan teknologi untuk memastikan bahan pangan bisa dipanen dan diproduksi secara lebih cepat dan produktif. Terkait di bidang kesehatan misalnya, inovasi dan kemajuan teknologi tentu merupakan hal yang sangat penting, agar berbagai penyakit kronis dapat segera disembuhkan dan diatasi.

Tidak hanya dari sisi inovasi dan teknologi, untuk bisa mencapai tujuan pembangunan berkelanjutan, dibutuhkan dana yang tidak sedikit. Agar fasilitas kesehatan dan sarana pendidikan bisa dibangun dan diakses oleh seluruh lapisan masyarakat misalnya, dibutuhkan dana yang besar untuk menyediakan berbagai sarana dan fasilitas tersebut.

Dengan demikian, dibutuhkan serangkaian kebijakan yang dapat mendorong inovasi di bidang kemajuan teknologi dan juga pertumbuhan ekonomi untuk meningkatkan pendapatan pemerintah agar bisa menyediakan berbagai layanan untuk dinikmati masyarakat. Salah satu kebijakan yang sangat penting untuk diberlakukan adalah perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual yang kuat.

Melalui perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual yang kuat, maka perusahaan dan inovator akan memiliki insentif yang semakin besar untuk berkarya yang berinovasi (financierworldwide.com, October, 2021). Kita tidak bisa memungkiri bahwa, peran perusahaan dan dunia usaha dalam rangka pembangunan berkelanjutan sangat penting. Terkait dengan polusi udara dan kerusakan lingkungan misalnya, bisa kita lihat saat ini berbagai perusahaan teknologi berlomba-lomba membuat kendaraan pribadi berbasis listrik sebagai salah satu solusi untuk mengurangi polusi udara, khususnya yang berasal dari kendaraan bermotor.

Bila semakin banyak sarana transportasi yang melakukan migrasi bahan bakar dari yang menggunakan bahan bakar fosil menjadi menggunakan listrik, hal ini tentu merupakan sesuatu yang sangat positif. Dengan demikian, polusi udara bisa semakin berkurang, dan akan semakin banyak penduduk yang bisa menikmati udara bersih dan segar.

Di bidang lainnya, seperti pangan misalnya, peternakan sapi merupakan salah satu sumber emisi gas rumah kaca terbesar (epa.gov, 28/4/2023). Hal ini karena gas metana yang dikeluarkan oleh sapi. Untuk menanggulangi persoalan tersebut, berbagai perusahaan teknologi berupaya untuk membuat produk daging sintesis hingga produk daging yang diambil dari sel tissue hewan dan kemudian dikembangkan di laboratorium.

Bila hal tersebut sudah bisa kita lakukan secara masif, berarti kita sudah bisa menyelesaikan salah satu sumber utama produsen gas rumah kaca. Tidak hanya itu, lahan-lahan luas yang sebelumnya digunakan untuk peternakan sapi kini bisa dikembalikan kepada alam melalui program reboisasi untuk menumbuhkan kembali hutan-hutan yang hilang karena pembangunan peternakan.

Sebagai penutup, perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual yang kuat merupakan salah satu faktor yang penting untuk menunjang pembangunan berkelanjutan. Melalui perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual yang kuat, maka insentif bagi para inovator untuk berinvoasi juga akan semakin meningkat, dan akan membuat berbagai produk yang bermanfaat bagi publik. Dengan demikian, ekonomi juga semakin berkembang, dan akan semakin banyak pemasukan negara yang didapatkan melalui pajak untuk membiayai berbagai program sosial yang penting bagi masyarakat.

Originally published here

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